Juno shoots 'Marble Movie' of Jupiter

Blinded observers granted gift


NASA has gifted blinded space fanciers another glimpse of Jupiter through its Juno cameras.

The images were snapped as the Juno probe swings back towards Jupiter in the first of two long elliptical orbits it will use to slow itself down before getting down to serious snapping.

NASA says it would not have ordinarily taken the shots if Jupiter was not in its current orbital phase, as it is currently too close to the sun for amateur Earth astronomers to observe.

But the on-board JunoCam is filling in the gap by snapping four colour photos an hour in what Juno has dubbed its "Marble Movie", on account of the planet's small stature in the new images.

"We have enough resolution to see if something major happens, like the disappearance of the Great Red Spot, or the fading of the South Equatorial Belt," NASA reassures us.

"We are also imaging Jupiter through our methane filter."

Juno image

Marble Movie Jupiter.

The new shots are a gift for space-fanciers as NASA has to be choosy on the particular shots it chooses to take with JunoCam's limited resources.

To that end NASA invites punters to submit their own images. It has also invited viewers to test their image filtering skills against its library of RAW images.

Juno image

A Junocam image from last month.

The famed space agency revealed earlier this month that Jupiter's moon Io in its eclipse state is covered in large chunks of its frozen atmosphere.

Io cools from -235°F (-148°C) to -270°F (-168°C) as its mostly sulphur dioxide atmosphere collapses every night. Just like Reg writers after some amber fluid and post-pub nosh. ®

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